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The Gazette KCRG
Posted January 2, 2012
What’s Ahead Jan. 2: Last chance to see candidates before caucuses

Last chance: Today is likely to your last chance to see any of the Republican presidential hopefuls before the caucuses.

Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul and Mitt Romney will be in the area. Gingrich starts the day at the Heartland Acres Agribition Center, Independence. At noon, he’ll be at Schrader Excavating and Grading, 1840 Commercial Dr., Walford.

Paul and his son, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, will be at the Hotel at Kirkwood Center, 7725 Kirkwood Blvd. SW, Cedar Rapids, at 2:30 p.m.

Then at 4 p.m.; Romney will be at Pate Asphalt, 3285 3rd Ave.  Marion.

Dessert pizza: Seems fitting that Rick Santorum’s last three events tonight will be at Pizza Ranch restaurants.

Is there a Pizza Ranch in Iowa he hasn’t been to?

Representative Iowa: Too old, too white, too rural. Those are the typical complaints from folks who think Iowa should not be at the head of the line in the presidential nomination process. The suggestion is that Iowa is not representative of the nation.

By one measure, however, Iowans are in lockstep with the rest of the nation. PopVox, a website used by advocacy organizations, trade associations, unions and other groups to communicate with members of Congress, found that base on responses from Iowans, the messages from Iowans to members of Congress were similar to those of the nation as a whole.

For example:

  • Iowans over overwhelmingly opposed allowing robocalls to cell phones. That was the No. 1 bill of 2011 that caused people to contact Congress.  One hundred percent of the Iowans weighing in on the bill opposed it.
  • 90 percent of Iowans contacting congressional members on H.R. 2306, which would have eliminated the prohibition of marijuana, supported the bill.
  • Iowans also rallied to support S. 724 to preserve military pay in case of a government shutdown.
  • Iowans have also shown strong opposition to SOPA, H.R. 3261: the Stop Online Piracy Act, with 97 percent opposing compared to 98 percent nationally.
  • And 66 percent of Iowans on POPVOX supported H.R. 2, the Repeal the Job-Killing Health Care Act. Nationwide, slightly more than the 60 percent nationwide supported the bill.

What next: When the caucus circus rolls out of Iowa, most of the performers will be heading to New Hampshire for the first-in-the-nation presidential primary.

Regardless of the outcome here, Romney is looking like a shoo-in to win the Granite State primary, according to Suffolk University/7NEWS two-day tracking poll of likely voters in New Hampshire’s GOP presidential primary conducted Dec. 30-31.

According to Suffolk University, Romney has opened up a commanding lead in New Hampshire, while Ron Paul is fending off Newt Gingrich and Jon Huntsman for second place.

The poll showed Romney leading with 41 percent of the vote, followed by Paul (15 percent), Gingrich (11 percent) and Huntsman (9 percent), while another 8 percent was split among GOP hopefuls Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum and Rick Perry. Sixteen percent remain undecided.

On the calendar:

Jan. 2

Rick Santorum, 10 a.m., Reising Sun Café, Polk City; 11:30 a.m., Hotel Pattee, Perry; 2 p.m., Pizza Ranch, Boone; 4 p.m., Pizza Ranch, Newton; 6 p.m., Pizza Ranch, Altoona

Mitt Romney, 8:10 a.m., Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds, Davenport; 11:50 a.m., Weber Paper, 4300 Chavenelle Rd., Dubuque;  4:10 p.m., Pate Asphalt, 3285 3rd Ave.  Marion 8:40 p.m., Competitive Edge, Clive

Newt Gingrich, 9 a.m., Heartland Acres Agribition Center, Independence; noon, Schrader Excavating and Grading, 1840 Commercial Dr., Walford; 630 p.m., Davenport office visit, Davenport; 9 p.m., Hotel Blackhawk Bowl, Davenport

Rick Perry, 12:30 p.m., Stoney Creek Inn, Sioux City; 4 p.m., Santa Maria Vineyard, Carroll; Hotel Pattee, Perry

Ron Paul, 11:15 a.m., Des Moines Marriott – Salon D, Des Moines; 1 p.m. SteepleGate Inn – Williamsburg Room, Davenport; 2:30 p.m., The Hotel at Kirkwood Center, 7725 Kirkwood Blvd. SW, Cedar Rapids; 4 p.m. Park Place (PIPAC) Event Center, Cedar Falls; 5:30 p.m., Prime N Wine, Mason City

Jan. 3

Mitt Romney, 7:55 a.m., Temple for the Performing Arts, Des Moines, TBA; 5 p.m., doors open for caucus night event, Hotel Fort Des Moines

Ron Paul, 7 p.m., caucus night rally, Courtyard, Ankeny

Rick Perry, 1 p.m., Principal Financial Group employee town hall, Des Moines; 7 p.m., caucus night event, Sheraton West, West Des Moines


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